WATCH LIVE: The State Department holds a press conference as Biden attends the G20 summit

The State Department is expected to hold a news conference Tuesday while President Joe Biden attends the G-20 summit in Indonesia.

The briefing is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m. Check out the player above.

US and Cuban officials plan to meet in Havana on Tuesday to discuss migration policy, the latest in a series of meetings between two governments with historically icy relations and amid one of the largest migration flights from the island in decades.

The State Department confirmed the latest meeting to The Associated Press on Monday. While the department did not offer details of what would be discussed, it said the talks were routine and represented a continuation of nearly 30 years of cooperation with Cuba on migration issues as neighboring countries. The talks were limited to migration, the State Department said.

U.S. authorities stopped Cubans nearly 221,000 times in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, a 471 percent increase from a year earlier, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

In October, Cubans overtook Venezuelans as the second-largest nationality after Mexicans, extending the largest flight from the Caribbean island to the United States since the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980, according to figures released late Monday. Cubans were stopped 28,848 times, up 10 percent from September.

The mass migration is being fueled by a complex mix of economic and political turmoil, exacerbated by a deepening energy crisis and the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian in late September.

Last Wednesday, State Department officials traveled to Cuba to speak with Cuban officials about expanding consular and visa services. These services had previously been shut down following a series of health incidents in 2017.

The Biden administration also announced that visa processing would resume in January.

Tuesday’s meeting represents a slow thawing of a relationship that has always been strained but has been particularly strained since President Donald Trump tightened American sanctions on the island.

A US official, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, said Cuba had agreed to host a flight of deported Cuban migrants from the US. This would be the first flight since the pandemic began, potentially providing American authorities with a tool to deter Cuban border cruisers.

US officials, the official said, are hoping more will come out of the talks in Havana as the exodus from the island shows no end in sight.

This is an evolving story and will be updated.


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